The Old Testament records the life of King David. Scripture declares he was a man “after God’s heart,” in spite of his many failings. He was easily entreated and knew how to humble himself and repent before the Lord. He lived in a dispensation of violence and was a man of war. As King he had power and authority but still valued the input of his advisers and the Prophet of God.
His son, Absalom, had tried to usurp the kingship from his father and promote himself to the people. (2 Samuel 17-19) Joab murdered him and when David heard of his son’s death, he mourned, grieved and sobbed inconsolably for him. Joab, David’s friend, adviser and mighty man of war reprimanded David for his grief, in view of Absalom’s treason. Joab advised David that he needed to get out and about to his subjects again and re-establish himself in the people’s hearts. King David listened to Joab and took his advice. He was easily entreated and chose to change his tactics. Humility is the hallmark of a person who is confident in their identity and understands the importance of humbling oneself and considering another’s counsel to my viewpoint.
My identity does not lie in position, wealth, the clothes I wear, the car I drive, the home I live in, the people I know, but IN CHRIST! He is my identity! Through Calvary, I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus and I stand complete in Him.
The Lord Jesus Christ, confident in knowing He was God’s only Son, humbled Himself and made Himself of no reputation, coming to this earth to save mankind through His substitutional death on Calvary’s cross. Jesus declared that of Himself, He could do nothing and yet, did all things through the power of “Another”, His Father. He was so committed to doing His Father’s will that He was able to be entrusted, and operated, in the full power and authority of Heaven. Why?….because His “over” came out of His “under”. Luke 7 records Jesus healing the centurion’s servant. The account demonstrates the centurion’s understanding of authority. He requested of Jesus to speak a word to command healing in his servant, stating that His word would be sufficient and that Jesus would not need to trouble Himself to visit the sick man. This Gentile centurion recognised the power and authority Jesus had!! He said to Jesus, Luke 7:8 “For I also am a man set under authority, having under me soldiers, and I say to one, Go, and he goes, and to another, Come, and he comes, and to my servant, Do this, and he does it.”
The challenge to each of us comes: WHERE IS THE AUTHORITY IN YOUR WORD? Do the words I speak carry authority. The words Jesus spoke were “Spirit and life” carrying the authority of His Father from heaven and were demonstrated in God’s divine power. Jesus power came out of His complete submission to His Father’s will. He only spoke the words His Father gave Him and He only did the things that pleased Him. His “over” came out of His “under”. Often, I have no authority because my heart is out of order. It is not one with my Father.
If I am under God’s authority I can be easily entreated when lovingly challenged by another member of the Body. Paul entreats us in Romans 12:3 “….not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think….” In pride I can convince myself that I am right, standing for truth, and yet, I need to consider another’s view point when challenged, and weigh it up before the Lord. When challenged do I respond in grace?….or react in pride? James 3:17 “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, AND EASY TO BE ENTREATED, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.” God has placed the members in the Body as it has pleased Him. Where God has placed me is where I will be effective. I need the other members of the Body to enable me in my function.
As always, humility is the key ……to submission to the Lord and to obedience. Many have tried and sought obedience thinking it is the goal, but humility is the goal that triggers obedience. Humility allows the life of Christ to operate in me. I am either in pride, producing disobedience, or in humility producing obedience where there is no resistance to God. When I recognise it is Christ living in me, I find I have entered His rest and His is all the glory and honour.
Is my life marked by diligence or negligence? Proverbs 4:23 “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life.”